Kerala Beef Biriyani and a Good News :)


Beef biriyani - Kerala Style

      I have great news to share with you all. I am now a published cookbook author! Smile D.C books, Kerala’s leading publisher have published two of my cookbooks last week – Snack box recipes and Lunch box Vibhavangal. D.C books team itself did the cover page.


Yes, I know! This would have come as a surprise for many of you, but the process of publishing is quite long and I wasn’t sure when exactly it would get published. And, I haven’t seen it yet!

    Anyways, this is the beginning of an exciting phase in my life as well as for Yummy O Yummy. I really need your support here too! Both the cookbooks have some recipes that you won’t find on the blog.

    Please don’t think of me as an expert cook now Smile. Being a food blogger and now a cookbook author, comes with its good and bad sides. Recently, whenever I cook for potlucks or have guests over at home, expectations about my dishes are set too high! I have so many friends here who all cook amazingly delicious dishes, but they just don’t blog.

    Another news is, we have shot a  video recipe for DC books. The editor at D.C Books wanted a couple of video recipes from me, but it didn’t turn out the way we expected Sad smile  I guess video recipes are not my cup of tea!  You can find the link below. I chose a very simple and quick recipe as it was my first attempt.

    Coming back to the cookbooks, this is a result of more than a year’s hard work, and is quite an achievement for me! To celebrate this, let me share a delicious beef biriyani that I had during our vacation in Kerala. Few of the readers have been complaining that I didn’t post the Kerala recipes that I had mentioned in this post. I got many requests from my readers to post the chemmeen curry and beef biriyani ASAP. I actually had to try those recipes to make sure the measurements were accurate and click the step pictures. We were having mostly vegetarian food for the last 2 months and I got time to try them only this week. Anyways, better late than never! So here goes the beef biriyani recipe for you!

   Biriyani is my most favorite dish and I have lots of biriyani recipes here. But I have never had a success with beef biriyani before as the beef pieces in the biriyani always turned out hard and lacked flavor.  I learnt this method of cooking beef biriyani from my mother-in-law’s maid Lathika chechi, who is an awesome cook. In this method, beef pieces are pressure-cooked first and then sliced into small pieces, the rest of the recipe is like that of the usual biriyani. That way the beef absorbs more flavor from the gravy and will turn out soft. Lathika chechi gave me an outline on how to do it, and I developed the recipe. I have  posted two of her other yummy recipes here – kovakka fry and vella kadala ularthiyathu. I will make sure to collect more yummy recipes from her during my next vacation. For now, enjoy this biriyani..

Ingredients (Serves 5)

1. Beef – 1/2 kg, cubed

    Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp

    Pepper powder – 1/2 tsp

    Salt – To taste

For Rice

2. Basmati rice – 2 cups, soaked in enough water for 15 minutes and then drained well

    Ghee/ coconut oil – 2 tsp

    Whole spices – Cardamom – 4, Cloves – 5, Cinnamon stick – 1 inch, black pepper corns – 1/2 tsp, bay leaf – 1

    Water – As required

    Salt – To taste

For the gravy

3. Coconut oil – 3 tbsp

4. Onion – 1 large or around 3 cups, thinly sliced and halved

    Curry leaves – A few

5. Ginger-garlic paste – 2 tsp heaped

6. Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp

    Coriander powder – 2 tsp

    Kashmiri chilly powder – 1 tsp

    Pepper powder – 1/2 – 3/4 tsp

    Garam masala powder – 3/4 tsp

7. Tomato – 1 small, thinly sliced

8. Meat masala powder – 3/4 tsp (It can be replaced with garam masala powder)

9. Cilantro and mint leaves – 2 – 3 tbsp, finely chopped

To garnish

10. Onion – 1 cup, thinly sliced and deep-fried

      Carrot – 1 medium, thinly sliced (optional)

      Fresh green peas – 3 tbsp (optional)

      Cashews – A few

      Cilantro – 3/4 cup, chopped

      Mint leaves – 1/2 cup, chopped

Deep-fry the thinly sliced onions, carrots, fresh green peas and cashews separately and drain on to a paper towel. Set aside until ready to layer.


1. In a pressure cooker, add in the beef pieces, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp pepper powder, 1/4 cup water and enough salt. Mix well and pressure-cook for 3 – 4 whistles (cooking time depends on the type of beef used). Switch off. When pressure releases, open the pressure cooker. Set aside the stock. When the beef pieces are warm enough to handle, cut into thin pieces using kitchen shears. Set aside.


2. Meanwhile cook rice adding ghee, whole spices, salt and enough water. You can either make ghee rice or follow the draining method.

Draining method – Soak the basmati rice for around 20 mts. Boil water in a deep vessel. To the boiling water add ghee – 2 tsp, whole spices (cardamom – 4, cloves – 5, cinnamon stick – 1 inch). Add enough salt. The water should be slightly salty. Now add the soaked rice and cook it to the perfect consistency. It will take around 15 – 20 mts at medium heat.  Drain the water and set aside.

For ghee rice recipe, click here.

3. To prepare the beef gravy – Heat 2 – 3 tbsp coconut oil in a pressure cooker. Add onions, few curry leaves, little salt and sauté until transparent. Next add ginger-garlic paste, mix well and sauté until onion turns light golden. Add the spice powders – turmeric powder, chilly powder, coriander powder, pepper powder and garam masala powder. Mix well and stir at low heat until their raw smell is gone. Next add tomato slices and cook until tomato turns mushy. Add beef pieces, meat masala powder and the beef stock that you set aside. Mix well. Cook covered over medium low heat until the beef pieces are completely coated with the gravy. Sprinkle chopped cilantro, little chopped mint and mix well.

4. To layer – Remove 1/2 – 3/4 th of the beef mixture into a plate and set aside. Top the remaining mixture in the pan with fried onion, carrot, fresh green peas, fried cashews, chopped cilantro and mint. (You can pour 1 – 2 tsp of ghee also,if you want). Top it with cooked rice followed by the items under garnish. The topmost layer should be that of rice. Cover with lid. Place this pan on a griddle/large tawa and cook for 3- 4 minutes at medium-low heat. (You can layer them in an oven-proof vessel smeared with ghee, layer, cover with an aluminum foil and bake at 350 F for about 15 – 20 minutes instead). Switch off. Mix well. Serve the delicious beef biriyani with pickle, raita and pappadam. Enjoy!


 Beef biriyani

Maya Akhil

Wife, Mother, Blogger and above all, an ardent lover of good food. I cook, serve, and eat with almost the same passion. The divine aroma that fills the kitchen when I cook or bake is simply what keeps me going!

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  • Congratulations Maya, on being a published author….way to go. Will surely get a copy of your book when i visit India. Though I am a regular ‘consumer’ of your recipies, I am really curious to findout what surprises you have in your book! And watched your video . I found it very ‘cute’ with your son’s voice in the backgroud. Don’t we all cook at home with our babies keeping us on our toes. Still you are creating delicious recipies…Keep up the great work.

    • Yeah, I share the hassle of cooking with a kid…Just the day before, he rushed over and snatched from a dish that i was photographing :). It is only the passion that keeps me going. Thanks for your support and hope you find the book useful.

  • Hi Maya
    congratulations on becoming a cookbook author. The video is great coming from a first timer. Looking forward to more videos as it becomes more simpler to understand a recipe.

  • Congrats Girl ! You deserve this more than anything !
    This is one of the best news of 2014!
    May you see many more surprising milestones !
    Little one is tooo lucky for you !
    Pl do a English version please ‘
    Have a great time!

    • Thanks Christy…He definitely is 🙂 Hoping to publish an english version as well. Till then feel free to browse my blog, try out dishes and provide feedback for the same. Thanks again!

  • Hi Maya,

    A big congratulations for all your efforts, you could successfully publish two cook books in this age of competition. I know it’s a great achievement…and an experience
    You can be proud of.All the Best dear!

    The beef Biryani recipe looks delicious…..I am going to try it with tender lamb pieces.
    God bless you Maya!

  • Hello Maya,
    First of all congrats for the book. I am regular visitor of your recipes and have had tried many of it. Thanks for the good recipes and keep on posting 🙂 🙂 Congrats again !!

  • I ordered the books online and got it delivered yesterday. A great collection indeed. Expecting a picture cookbook as a new edition.all the best maya

    • Thanks a lot for buying it. Please do try the recipes and let me know your feedback. Thanks for your suggestion about pictures. Actually this cookbook also has pictures, please check in the middle. Will definitely try to do a cookbook with a richer collection of pictures in the future. Thanks again!

  • Hi Maya
    First of all congrats for the great achievement.I am a big fan of your blog and have tried no. of your reciepes and believe me everytime it was a super duper hit in my family.And most recently I tried the beef biriyani and Jeera Kanji and I got lot of praises from my family.All credit goes to you.Thanks for the good receipes and keep on posting.Congrats again!!

  • Hi Maya,
    I’m a huge fan and so happy to see you getting the success you deserve!! Congrats on the book! I’ve been following your blog since you first started (like five yrs ago) and have tried so many of your recipes. Every single one was a success. My family, aunts, cousins etc. all over the US know of your blog and are big fans! Wishing you the best 🙂

  • Congratulations Maya. I’m a regular visitor of Yummy O Yummy. I tried most of the South Indian non-veg recipes, specially the biriyani recipes, so Yummy… :-). Looking forward to more distinct flavoured recipes.

  • Hiii…i absolutely love your blog. One of my friends introduced me to your blog and I was so excited to see all of your wonderful kerala recipes. I love that your recipes are easy to follow with pictures. Two of my go to recipes from your blog is “easy kadala curry” and “beef pepper roast”. The first time I made beef, I used your recipe and it came out perfect and I was thrilled!! Take care and keep the recipes coming 🙂

  • Congratulations Maya..I never knew about the book got published…so happy for you..I will expect a big treat from u when I come back…

  • Maya….
    I made this today. ……was a lip-smacking biriyani with an appetising aroma that could make one indulge into trying more and more of your recipes.
    Tried making other Beef biriyani many times. …but nothing like this….thankyou so much .
    Must say I’m addicted…
    Very talented…keep up the spirit and the good job!

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About Maya

Maya Akhil

Wife, Mother, Blogger and above all, an ardent lover of good food. I cook, serve, and eat with almost the same passion. The divine aroma that fills the kitchen when I cook or bake is simply what keeps me going!

Every Recipe Since 2010